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Preview for Cuthbertson Men’s Varsity Basketball 2021

Coach Caputi and Team 2021 brings great change to the Men’s Varsity Basketball team, beyond COVID-19 protocols and restrictions. With a new Head Coach, and eight new varsity players, this team is a clean slate.

Christopher Caputi, previously the assistant coach for the 2019-20 season, has been elevated to Head Coach. This change has Tre Branham, one of five seniors on the team this season, very excited. “I'm looking forward to a new opportunity to win and start a new legacy under Coach Caputi. He's a great coach who has his mind set on winning and improving all the time, and he pushes us to want to be winners.” 

Another Varsity returnee, Christian Alston, agrees. “I’m looking forward to playing together as a team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to playing under a new coach that seems passionate about his players and hopefully achieve the goal of going undefeated.”

All coaches and players want to win. So how will Coach Caputi establish a winning brand of basketball at Cuthbertson? “We have been working on creating an identity of toughness, and for the past five months these guys have really taken to it and it's beginning to show,” Caputi said. “I want this brand to be evident within our style of play. A tough, aggressive brand of basketball on both ends of the floor. Playing an up-tempo style on offense and defense is fun to coach, play, and watch. It creates opportunities for us to generate more possessions, be in great shape, and work towards building fast-paced skill sets.”

I attended a practice this past Monday, and this new identity was in full effect. In the time I watched, I saw many positive attributes that fit the tough, proud culture Coach Caputi wants to instill. An obvious one was how well-conditioned every player was. The fast-paced brand of basketball this team will try to implement will not work if each player isn’t in top shape, so it was very encouraging to see the endurance everyone possessed. 

Another aspect that stood out was the mental focus and discipline. There wasn’t a single moment where a drill was practiced at below 100% effort. From my perspective, this team’s whole attitude of how they approach the game is dangerous. They are aggressive, determined, and ready to win games. 

To maintain winning seasons over the long term, it is important to mentor and develop the underclassmen. Five juniors, one sophomore, and one freshman will be in charge of picking up where the seniors left off. Returning varsity seniors Will Heyward and Terrell Ray had some words of advice for the younger players. Said Ray, “I would tell them that basketball is a privilege and not a right. If your grades aren’t straight, then you will not play. And if you’re not willing to put in the work, don’t even come to the workouts or tryouts.” Heyward’s message also focused on work ethic. “My advice to young players would be to not get caught up in the flashy stuff but work on playing hard at all times, doing the little things, being a great teammate, and being extremely tough.”

Overall, this team has a passionate, young head coach, and twelve motivated players with one thing on their mind: winning. Get excited Cavaliers for a great 2021 season.

The Cavaliers have started off the season well, breaking even with two wins in their last four games. The team's next game is against Parkwood on Friday, January 22 @ 8p.

 

Written by CHS Senior Michael Garrity
Posted January 21, 2021